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Disadvantages of an Access Database (Part 1)

Posted by Chris Straw on April 30, 2011 in Access, Database, Oracle, SQL Server |

I’ve been asked, “Do you do Access Database programming?”  I simply answer, “No”, I would rather be stand on the street corner with a sign saying, “Will work for food”.

Will Work For Food

It’s not that Access is the evil of all evils.  I would rather use a database that has a built security model that protects sensitive data, promotes concurrent users, etc.  Access is one of the most popular “mom and pop” databases and since it’s bundled with the Office product line, it has a very simple security interface that can be easily hacked.

Some of the disadvantages of using Access are:

Internet Limitations

Access Jet database is used by Microsoft Access and is a file based system and does not contain server features that are available in SQL Server, Oracle or other ODBC compliant databases.  Access databases are more suited for web based solutions when the number of users is small.  Response times within systems designed using Access start to slow as more users access the system or when the databases start to grow (see size limitations below).

Sensitive Data

If you have sensitive data needs like SSN, health/medical, or financial information, for example, you will require more extensive database security that Access can offer.  This is where SQL Server or Oracle comes into play.  These databases run as a service and can be protected by firewalls and other protocols that Access can not provide.

Size Limitations

Depending on the version of Access, there is a physical limit to how “big” the database can be.  Along with the physical limit, as Access databases grow, the response of the database slows.

In Part 2, I will continue discussing the disadvantages of using Access database.

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